History in Structure

Ockley Manor Farm Cottages

A Grade II Listed Building in Hassocks, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9323 / 50°55'56"N

Longitude: -0.1283 / 0°7'41"W

OS Eastings: 531621

OS Northings: 116434

OS Grid: TQ316164

Mapcode National: GBR JMS.JCF

Mapcode Global: FRA B6MN.1TB

Plus Code: 9C2XWVJC+WM

Entry Name: Ockley Manor Farm Cottages

Listing Date: 25 July 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1462874

ID on this website: 101462874

Location: Mid Sussex, BN6

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex

Civil Parish: Hassocks

Built-Up Area: Hurstpierpoint

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Tagged with: Architectural structure


Pair of early- to mid-C19 farm workers’ cottages, now a single house.


Pair of early- to mid-C19 farm workers’ cottages, now a single house.

MATERIALS: the building is of red brick and flint with the front and rear elevations hung with clay tiles at first floor. The roof is tiled; window frames are a mixture of timber and steel and doors are timber.

PLAN: the building’s plot is behind (to the east of) the courtyard of converted farm buildings which originally served Ockley Manor Farm. The building is situated in the north-east corner of its plot and faces south in the direction of Ockley Manor, with the rear elevation facing north over open fields.

The building is two bays wide with a rectangular footprint, two end stacks and a hipped roof. Originally two cottages with mirrored plans, the plan of the right-hand (east) cottage remains essentially unaltered. The house is entered into a large hearth room to the front and to the rear is a scullery which gives access to the stair enclosure against the party wall. Beneath the stair is a walk-in cupboard, accessed from the hearth room. At the top of the stair a small landing gives access to a larger front room and a smaller, unheated, backroom.

A single doorway between the hearth rooms of the two cottages has been inserted to link them together. In the west cottage the original stair has been removed and replaced with one running in the opposite direction (accessed through the original door to the under-stair cupboard) and the scullery has been divided to create a hallway giving access to a small bathroom on one side and a WC beneath the new stair on the other. On the first floor the stair now lands to the back of the plan so the landing and back room have been reconfigured to accommodate this; the front room remains unaltered bar the repositioning of the door from the landing.

EXTERIOR: the building’s elevations are striking for their use of wide bands of flint interspersed with narrow stripes of red brick and red brick quoined dressings around openings and at the corners. The first floor to front and rear is tile-hung. The hipped roof has deep, sprocketed, eaves with boarded soffits.

The front elevation was originally symmetrical, with a pair of doors at the centre, flanked by a window to either side at ground and first floors. The door to the west cottage has now been replaced with a window and the lower part of the opening infilled with brick; the door to the east cottage is a late-C20 timber replacement. The ground floor windows are late-C20 timber casements; first floor windows, of a more horizontal orientation, are tucked under the eaves and are early- to mid-C20 steel-framed casements.

The rear elevation is similar to the front, but with doors arranged so as to be central to each cottage with a window at ground floor to either side, one lighting the scullery and one lighting the stair enclosure (now the bathroom and WC respectively in the west cottage). The ground floor windows are late-C20 casements and those on the first floor are multi-paned horizontally-sliding Yorkshire sashes, probably of C19 date. The door to the east cottage is also of probable C19 date.

The side elevations are blind and the flint banding is interrupted by the flush brick mass of the chimney stack – the irregular outline of the brickwork roughly reflecting the position of the internal flues: the large ground floor hearth, the scullery copper and the first floor front room. The two chimneys have been rebuilt, each now with a single flue. A part-brick, part-timber-framed lean-to remains against the flank wall of the east cottage.

INTERIOR: the east cottage survives particularly well and while it is not possible to say with certainty that internal joinery is original, the majority is consistent with an early- to mid-C19 date. Most of the doors are of similar plank and ledge construction with forged strap hinges and wooden or hairpin latches. There are simple architraves around the doors in the hearth room, unmoulded skirting boards and a wooden towel rail on the door between the scullery and the stair enclosure which could be a C19 fitting. A copper, with its wooden lid, survives in the corner of the scullery. The stair has three solid brick winder steps at the bottom and then continues in a straight, steep, timber flight along the party wall. On the first floor, the partition between the stair and the small back bedroom is formed of studwork, boarded on the bedroom side and the studs left exposed in the stairwell.

The joinery in the west cottage is less consistent because of the alteration to the plan, although there remain a number of plank and ledge doors similar to those in the east cottage. The simple straight flight of stairs, the balustrade on the first floor landing and the planked partitioning of the small back room are all later fabric associated with the C20 alteration. The doorway into the front room on the first floor has been moved to allow for the changes to the plan and the door which is now in-situ probably pre-dates the house. It has two raised and fielded panels and HL hinges.

Both houses have large hearth openings in the ground floor hearth room to take a range. Both openings have segmentally-arched lintels and a long mantle shelf on simple curved brackets. To one side of the hearth is a built-in cupboard. There is a similar arrangement on the first floor but with the fireplace being a much smaller opening with a cast iron grate and surround. The upper rooms in both cottages are unusual in having high vaulted ceilings, the lath and plaster finish being taken up to the underside of the collar of the roof trusses. The reason for this treatment is unclear and may or may not be original.


Ockley Manor Farm is believed to have mid-C17 origins, based on fabric within the surviving house, Ockley Manor (Grade II*). Of the historic farmstead, an C18 barn (now converted to domestic use) and dovecote survives, (both listed at Grade II), as does an unlisted courtyard of farm buildings of various date (now also in domestic use), several C18 or C19 stores and Ockley Manor Farm Cottages. The cottages were constructed between about 1818 and 1845, originally as a semi-detached pair, to house farm workers.

At some point the two cottages were converted into a single house. Although it is not known when this happened, it seems most likely from mapping evidence and the buildings' fabric that it was in the first half of the C20. The 1874 Ordnance Survey Map indicates that each cottage had a two-cell structure against the flank wall, almost certainly lean-tos based on surviving fabric and scarring on the brickwork of the flank walls. These are not shown on the 1845 Tithe map but as this is fairly schematic it is unclear if they might have been original. Part of a lean-to belonging to the east cottage survives in a modified form.

Reasons for Listing

Ockley Manor Farm Cottages, a pair of early- to mid-C19 farm workers’ cottages now a single house, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the building has a striking use of traditional materials and largely retains its symmetrical arrangement as a pair of cottages;
* there is a good level of interior survival, particularly in the east cottage which retains much of its early joinery and its tightly arranged plan-form.

Historic interest:

* the survival of features, fittings and plan-form illustrates well the modest farm-workers’ cottage of the C19 and the way in which such buildings were occupied.

Group Value:

* there is group value with the Grade II* listed Ockely Manor, and the Grade II listed barn to the north-west of Ockley Manor and the dovecot to the south-west of Ockely Manor.

External Links

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